Tuna Casserole Pasta Salad
September 13, 2015
I know, I know…why am I posting about something boring like tuna pasta salad? Where’s the cake? Cookies? Cupcakes? It’s end of summer harvest…where are the tomatoes? Zucchini? Sweet corn? Well, sometimes I have nothing in the pantry but a couple of cans of tuna, some pasta, some frozen peas and some parsley. When I desperately need to go grocery shopping, it’s likely that I have those things. So I make this tuna pasta salad, a recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated 30-minute suppers magazine that I’ve vowed to post all of my favorite recipes from.
And this is not your normal tuna pasta salad. It’s not mayonnaise-y or sweet. It has great flavor and a little bit of a bite from the lemon, garlic and Dijon mustard. I like to serve it on a bed of arugula, and if I have them on hand, with a handful of cherry tomatoes thrown in, too. The original recipe calls for toasted breadcrumbs on top, which I don’t love the texture of, but I’ll include the steps to that for those of you who would like it!
Tuna Casserole Pasta Salad
adapted from 30-Minute Suppers from America’s Test Kitchen, Fall 2010 edition
2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into pieces (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil (plus 1 tbsp if doing bread crumbs)
3 tbsp juice from one lemon
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 (6-oz) cans tuna packed in water, drained and flaked into large chunks (I like the “chunk light” tuna)
1 pound small shells
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. If doing bread crumbs, pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about 6 pulses. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
2. Whisk lemon juice, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper together in large bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining oil. Gently toss tuna with 1/4 cup dressing in separate bowl.
3. Meanwhile, add shells and 1 tbsp salt to boiling water and cook until almost al dente. Add peas to pot and cook additional 1 minute. Drain pasta and peas and rinse with cold water. Add pasta, peas and parsley to bowl with remaining dressing and toss to coat. Gently fold in tuna and season with salt and pepper. Serve, topping each portion with bread crumbs.
Serve over a bed of arugula, or by itself with a green salad on the side.
Filed in Fish and Seafood, Kid Friendly, Main Dishes, Pasta or Rice dishes, Quick Weeknight Meals
Tags: 30 minute meal, easy dinner, easy meal, fast, main dish, mustard viniagrette, pasta, quick, recipe, toasted bread crumbs, tuna, tuna pasta salad, weeknight dinner